Monday, January 21, 2013

No one likes Gilbert Osmond. I wonder why.

Chapter 35 – 40

            No one likes Gilbert Osmond, and he knows it; Isabel, in her pride, pacifies that knowledge with the idea that she doesn’t need anyone else’s approval because she will marry Osmond for her own pleasure.  She also begins to justify, more so to herself, that marriage will be a good thing since she has already seen the world, and it was all rather uninteresting to her now. 

            While Isabel pacifies her doubts, Osmond is full of himself concerning Isabel, considering that she serves him well and will make a nice ornament for his image.

            Three years after the marriage, a Mr. Edward Rosier, friend to Isabel and Madame Merle, seeks advice from Merle regarding Osmond’s daughter, Pansy.  He wants to marry Pansy, as they love each other, but is sure Osmond will forbid it.  Rosier would ask Isabel for help, but Merle assures him she has no power.

            Mr. Rosier attends the Osmond’s weekly parties with the intention to convince Mr. Osmond to allow him to marry Pansy.  This is where I begin referring to Osmond as “jerk” in my margins.  He is completely discourteous to Mr. Rosier, and makes it known in insolent ways that he has no interest in permitting him to marry Pansy, even though Pansy has told Mr. Rosier that she likes him, too; Osmond is not interested in how Pansy feels – only that she does what he wants.

            Next, Lord Warburton enters the story.  He informs Isabel that Ralph is very ill, and she agrees to see him.  Warburton then notices Pansy and inquires of her. 

            Ralph is thinking about how his relationship with Isabel has been strained.  She has alienated herself from her friends and her aunt, and Osmond is treating her like a piece of his artwork: only to be used a status symbol for himself.

            Furthermore, something is going on between Osmond and Merle.  Isabel catches them is a strange position, glancing into each other’s eyes.  And why did Merle warn Isabel not to be jealous of their relationship?  With all this talk about open marriages being commonplace, I am beginning to be suspicious, too.

To be continued...

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